Mary Jane Teall Collection

Collection Summary

Title: Mary Jane Teall Collection
Call Number: MS 96-08
Size: 5.0 linear feet
Acquisition: Donated by the Teall Estate
Processed by: MFB, 12-1995; MN, 1-2015
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher, to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The Mary Jane Teall Collection contains a great deal of information regarding the Wichita Community Theater (WCT). It includes a listing of more than 40 years of the theater's productions, many playbills, and other promotional materials. The collection also has some financial and administration documents such as accountant reports, budgets, WCT Constitution and Bylaws, and WCT Board of Directors. An extensive collection of photographs helps document more than 80 productions. Mary Jane Teall was instrumental with the founding of the WCT and was a key player for more than 40 years. There is some personal material in the collection, including speeches, an oral history interview, and her msster's thesis.

Biography

The name Mary Jane Teall has been synonymous with theater in Wichita for more than 40 years. She was the founder and artistic Director of the Wichita Community Theater, a professor and director at Wichita State University, and in 1981, she was inducted into the Kansas Theatre Hall of Fame.

Born in Tekamah, Nebraska, Teall studied theatre at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in the 1930s. In 1945, a single parent, she came to Wichita to lead a teen club for an organization called Community Chest. Soon after that, members of her church, the First Unitarian Church, persuaded Teall to direct one-act plays in what was called the "Unitarian Experimental Theater."

By 1946, the one-act plays had quickly evolved into the Wichita Community Theater. She has been widely credited with being the guiding light and driving force of the WCT for 43 years. Teall has acted, directed, sold tickets, collected and fabricated props, handled publicity, and dealt with budgetary problems. In addition with her involvement with the WCT, Teall also worked with Wichita state University where she taught, directed, and shared her expertise with students.

After 43 years as Artistic Director of the WCT, Teall resigned when a majority of the board passed a bylaw which stated that plays to be produced would be selected by a committee rather than the director.

Teall died October 13, 1994, from injuries she suffered in an automobile accident on her way to Judge Riddel boys' ranch near Wichita to teach theater classes.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-6 Wichita Community Theater (WCT) - General Information. This series includes files regarding the history of the Wichita Community Theater, with specific information regarding the earliest "Experimental Theater" reports, Theater Guild members, and a complete listing of plays produced.
Series 2 Box 1 FF 7-11 Wichita Community Theater - Business, Financial and Administration. This series contains files concerning the business aspect of the Wichita Community Theater. Specific documents include Accountant Reports, Constitution & Bylaws, WCT Budgets, and WCT Board of Directors.
Series 3 Box 1 FF 12-25 Wichita Community Theater - Productions. This series includes files regarding specific WCT productions, playbills, seasonal announcements, and miscellaneous play related materials such as issues of "The Call Board," and letters to the players. A series of playbills from 1953 through 1960 contained newspaper clippings on those specific productions and have been included in their original order and arrangement.
Series 4 Box 1 FF 27-Box 3 Mary Jane Teall Personal. This series contains files concerning Mary Jane Teall (MJT). Specific materials include her master's thesis, college yearbook, speeches, a WCT daily activities log, a transcript of an oral history interview, awards and plaques, two newspaper scrapbooks, and loose newspaper clippings of a biographical nature.
Series 5 Box 4-Box 5 Images. This series includes a substantial photographic record of the WCT productions. In addition, it contains some postcards, a number of slides, and a videotape of the ceremony/dedication of the Mary Jane Teall Theater.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Wichita Community Theater - General Information

Box 1 FF 1 WCT (Wichita Community Theater) - History. This file contains a brief history of the Wichita Community Theater, a report on the "Experimental Theater," and a one page information sheet on the WCT.
Box 1 FF 2 WCT - Theater Guild. This file contains the Theater Guild telephone directory for 1967-1968 and 1969-1970.
Box 1 FF 3 WCT - Plays. This file includes a listing of all the plays performed by the University Theater Productions between 1924-1987 and WCT plays between 1946-1989.
Box 1 FF 4 WCT - Certificates. This file contains the membership certificates from the American National Theatre and Academy for the years 1959-1961 and a city proclamation for WCT week,October 1960.
Box 1 FF 5 WCT - Award Dinners. This file contains the WCT award dinner programs for the years 1965, 1970, 1972-1974, and 1989.
Box 1 FF 6 WCT - Logo. This file includes examples of the WCT letterhead and envelopes.

Series 2 ‒ Wichita Community Theater - Business, Financial and Administration

Box 1 FF 7 WCT (Wichita Community Theater- Constitution & Bylaws.This file contains an early version of the WCT Constitution and Bylaws.
Box 1 FF 8 WCT - Early Reports. This file includes a report on the "Experimental Theatre" from April 1949 through April 1950 and the rules and regulations of the Unitarian Experimental Theatre.
Box 1 FF 9 WCT - Finance. This file contains the financial report of two early productions-- "The Importance of Being Ernest" and "Trifles" & "Wife." It also includes the Accountant Report from 1968-1970 and 1975, and an undated inventory of costumes and props.
Box 1 FF 10 WCT - Administration. The material in this file comes from a notebook, the original order has been maintained. It includes the WCT Board of Directors - 1986-1988, changes in the Bylaws,WCT Budget 1987-1988, a 1987 Cash Receipts &Disbursements report, and a 1987-1988 report from the Artistic Director.
Box 1 FF 11 WCT - Prospect List. This file contains a computer printout of names and addresses, perhaps a potential membership, mailing,or donor list.

Series 3 ‒ Wichita Community Theater - Productions

Box 1 FF 12 Wichita Community Theater (WCT) - 1950s. This file contains playbills dating from 1945-1951.
Box 1 FF 13 WCT - 1960s. This file contains playbills, seasonal announcements, season passes, and tickets from the 1960s.
Box 1 FF 14 WCT - 1970s. This file contains playbills, seasonal announcements, season passes, and tickets from the 1970s.
Box 1 FF 15 WCT - 1980s. This file contains playbills, seasonal announcements, season passes, and tickets from the 1980s.
Box 1 FF 16 WCT - 1990s. This file contains playbills, seasonal announcements, season passes, and tickets from the 1990s.
Box 1 FF 17 WCT - 1953-1954. This file contains playbills and newspaper clippings from the ‘53-’54 season.
Box 1 FF 18 WCT - 1954-1955. This file contains playbills and newspaper clippings from the ‘54-’55 season.
Box 1 FF 19 WCT - 1955-1956. This file contains playbills and newspaper clippings from the ‘55-’56 season.
Box 1 FF 20 WCT - 1956-1957. This file contains playbills and newspaper clippings from the ‘56-’57 season.
Box 1 FF 21 WCT - 1957-1958. This file contains playbills and newspaper clippings from the ‘57-’58 season.
Box 1 FF 22 WCT - 1958-1959. This file contains playbills and newspaper clippings from the ‘58-’59 season.
Box 1 FF 23 WCT - 1959-1960. This file contains playbills and newspaper clippings from the ‘59-’60 season.
Box 1 FF 24 WCT - Undated. This file contains playbills and newspaper clippings.
Box 1 FF 25 WCT - Play-related. This file contains miscellaneous play-related materials including: a 1970 guest-artist agreement for Hans Conried; a 1968 telegram from Bill Lundigan; short pieces entitled "Commedia ‘60," "Nathan," and "This Daddy Business;" letters to the players; July and August 1986 issues of "The Call Board;" and a 1988 Kansas Arts Excellence Program Application to the Southwestern Bell Foundation.

Series 4 ‒ Mary Jane Teall - Personal

Box 1 FF 26 Mary Jane Teall (MJT) - Yearbook. This file contains the 1930 yearbook of Columbia College, in Missouri, entitled "College Window."
Box 1 FF 27 MJT - Thesis. This file contains part I of Mary Jane Houston’s 1937 MA Thesis.
Box 1 FF 28 MJT - Thesis. This file contains part II of Mary Jane Houston’s 1937 MA Thesis.
Box 1 FF 29 MJT - Correspondence. This file includes a number of personal letters written to MJT.
Box 1 FF 30 MJT - Notebook. This file contains a spiral notebook, a daily activities log which includes meetings and miles driven.
Box 1 FF 31 MJT - Speeches. This file includes a number of speeches delivered by MJT, many on note cards. The contents were together in a file marked "speeches."
Box 1 FF 32 MJT - Interview. This file contains a 31 page transcript of an interview titled "History of community theater - 1960s &1970s." Participants included MJT, Martin & Eva Reif, Agnes Quinn, Millier Meier, and Mary & Martin Umansky.
Box 1 FF 33 MJT - Clippings. This file contains miscellaneous newspaper clippings of a biographical nature.
Box 2 FF 1 MJT - WCT. This file contains a copper "Life Member WCT" plaque awarded to Bob & MJT in May 1963.
Box 2 FF 2 MJT - WFAC. This file contains an October 1972 award from the Wichita Fine Arts Council.
Box 2 FF 3 MJT - GAA. This file contains the 1987-1988 "Goldie Ayres Award from the WCT.
Box 2 FF 4 MJT - WSU. This file contains a 1971 "25 years of faithful service" award from Wichita State University.
Box 2 FF 5 MJT - WSU2. This file contains a 1982 "Certificate of Achievement" from WSU.
Box 2 FF 6 MJT - WBA. This file contains a 1976 "Outstanding Service"award from the Wichita Bar Association.
Box 2 FF 7 MJT - NWKC. This file contains a 1988 "Certificate of Appreciation" from the North Wichita Kiwanis Club.
Box 3   MJT - Scrapbooks. This file contains the pages from two scrapbooks of newspaper clippings.

Series 5 ‒ Images

Box 4 FF 1 Summer Smoke
Box 4 FF 2 The Male Animal
Box 4 FF 3 Mr. Roberts
Box 4 FF 4 Stalag 17
Box 4 FF 5 A Streetcar named Desire
Box 4 FF 6 The Amorous Flea
Box 4 FF 7 Born Yesterday
Box 4 FF 8 Barefoot in the Park
Box 4 FF 9 The Ballad Plays
Box 4 FF 10 Inherit the Wind
Box 4 FF 11 The Curious Savage
Box 4 FF 12 Desire Under the Elms
Box 4 FF 13 Don Juan in Hell
Box 4 FF 14 Sisi
Box 4 FF 15 The Dresser
Box 4 FF 16 Happy Birthday
Box 4 FF 17 Hasty Heart
Box 4 FF 18 Long Day’s Journey into Night
Box 4 FF 19 Misalliance
Box 4 FF 20 Never Too Late
Box 4 FF 21 My Three Angels
Box 4 FF 22 The Odd Couple
Box 4 FF 23 Merchant of Yonkers
Box 4 FF 24 Member of the Wedding
Box 4 FF 25 Mad Woman of Chaillot
Box 4 FF 26 The Love of Four Colonels
Box 4 FF 27 Rashomon
Box 4 FF 28 The Reluctant Debutante
Box 4 FF 29 A Raisen in the Sun
Box 4 FF 30 Present Laughter
Box 4 FF 31 The Rainmaker
Box 4 FF 32 Once More With Feeling
Box 4 FF 33 Nusle w/ Violin
Box 4 FF 34 Of Mice and Men
Box 4 FF 35 Noah
Box 4 FF 36 The Silver Whistle
Box 4 FF 37 A Shot in the Dark
Box 4 FF 38 Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife
Box 4 FF 39 Send Me No Flowers
Box 4 FF 40 Royal Hunt of the Sun
Box 4 FF 41 Ring Round the Moon
Box 4 FF 42 The Solid Gold Cadillac
Box 4 FF 43 The School for Scandal
Box 4 FF 44 The Skin of Our Teeth
Box 4 FF 45 Detective Story
Box 4 FF 46 Gradle Song
Box 4 FF 47 Commedia ‘60
Box 4 FF 48 Career
Box 4 FF 49 The Caine Mutiny
Box 4 FF 50 Bus Stop
Box 5 FF 1 The Best Man
Box 5 FF 2 Androcles & the Lion
Box 5 FF 3 The Golden Fleecing
Box 5 FF 4 The Heiress
Box 5 FF 5 The Importance of Being Ernest
Box 5 FF 6 John Brown’s Body
Box 5 FF 7 The Little Foxes
Box 5 FF 8 The Great Sebastians
Box 5 FF 9 A Majority of One
Box 5 FF 10 Teahouse of the August Moon
Box 5 FF 11 A Thousand Clowns
Box 5 FF 12 Taming of the Shrew
Box 5 FF 13 Thieves Carnival
Box 5 FF 14 Twelth Night
Box 5 FF 15 The Visit
Box 5 FF 16 Visit to a Small Planet
Box 5 FF 17 Uncle Harry
Box 5 FF 8 Wait Until Dark
Box 5 FF 19 Take her, She’s Mine
Box 5 FF 20 The Merchant of Yonkers
Box 5 FF 21 A View From The Bridge
Box 5 FF 22 Witness for the Prosecution
Box 5 FF 23 All the Way Home
Box 5 FF 24 The Wall
Box 5 FF 25 Antigone
Box 5 FF 26 Pygmalion
Box 5 FF 27 Six Who Passed While the Lentils Boiled
Box 5 FF 28 Laf At ‘89
Box 5 FF 29 WSU Plays
Box 5 FF 30 Photographs of miscellaneous unidentified plays.
Box 5 FF 31 Photographs of miscellaneous unidentified plays.
Box 5 FF 32 Photographs of miscellaneous unidentified plays.
Box 5 FF 33 Photographs of miscellaneous unidentified plays.
Box 5 FF 34 Photographs of an unidentified play; were in an album together.
Box 5 FF 35 Miscellaneous photographs of unidentified people.
Box 5 FF 36 Postcards and carte-de-vistes, perhaps used by MJT for backdrop or costume ideas.
Box 5 FF 37 Miscellaneous slides.
Box 5 FF 38 Videotape of the dedication ceremony for the Mary Jane Teall Theater.